Welcome to No Harm, No Waste.
Why this blog?
This blog is named after my belief that the twin challenges of harm and waste are not being addressed properly in healthcare today. Providers of health services need to deal with these issues if they expect to fully engage patients and deliver quality care in sustainable fashion.
Systems and process thinking to the rescue
This blog’s content is tutorial in nature. In it, I aim to introduce concepts from areas other than healthcare — to wit, systems and process engineering. These provide approaches and tools with wide applicability, and deserve greater exposure in healthcare. Topics include modeling and simulating collaborative processes and workflows under uncertainty, and assessing the impact of data quality on patient care. I also discuss leveraging commonalities and breaking out of siloed thinking, as these behaviors doom us to the same mistakes. In the end, achieving change that is both statistically significant and self-sustainable is our overarching goal.
Executing well on all these fronts needs to be deliberate. The potential exists to greatly reduce both waste and harm at healthcare providers aiming to achieve accountable care organization (ACO) status.
My hope is that our dialog will enable us all to better understand how to improve our work environment with minimal rework and frustration. In doing this, my concern is for:
- the patient who suffers through delays, misinformation, and occasionally harm
- the physician practice with an overly complex workflow
- the nurse manager attempting to schedule staff for maximum patient coverage while trying not to incur overtime
- the hospital administrator who must use scarce resources fully while facing decreased reimbursements
- the CFO who needs to forecast iand allocate capital long-term in an uncertain landscape
- the facilities architect or manager who would like to incorporate lean concepts into a design
- the researcher who wishes to waste as little time as possible accessing accurate data
- the IT team concerned with ensuring data integrity, no harm to personal privacy, and broad availability of enterprise data.
Becoming process-oriented and data-driven thinkers is hard work. So is having a lifelong commitment to doing no harm and minimizing waste. And yet, this is precisely what we must do to deliver quality care in a highly regulated, competitive, and increasingly complex environment.
Are you interested in emerging trends and analysis of contentious issues in healthcare delivery and reform? I provide links to several outstanding blogs which do just that. I hope you find the material useful.